SOUTH LAUREL—Mental mistakes and unforced errors cost the South Laurel Lady Cardinals a heartbreaker on Tuesday night, taking a 3-2 (23-25, 25-14, 20-25, 25-23, 15-7) loss to Wayne County.

South Laurel Coach Mitzi Jones said that 52 unforced errors caused by mental mistakes by her Lady Cardinals hurt her team on Tuesday night.

“I feel like we’ve made some improvements, I really do,” Jones said. “But I feel like we take two steps forward and then it feels like we take five steps back. We’re still seeing some improvements and we’ve still got a long way to go.”

South Laurel and Wayne County were neck and neck in the first set but the Lady Cardinals were able to pull away with a kill by Haley Bales to seal the first set victory, 25-23.

Wayne County took control of the second set, leading the entire set and finishing with a 25-14 victory.

The Lady Cardinals fought back in the third set, pulling away with a 25-20 victory after another kill by Bales finished out the third set.

The fourth set was another close one that saw four lead changes before Wayne County pulled away with the 25-23 win to make the match tied at 2-2.

The Lady Cardinals quickly lost their 4-0 lead, as Wayne County took control of the set and pulled away for a 15-7 victory and the match win, 3-2.

“We handed them 11 out of those last 15 points, we gave them to them,” said Jones. “You can’t give teams points and expect to win ball games. Those are mental mistakes that we’re going to have to start figuring out. We’ve got to learn how to cut down on those and those are mental mistakes.”

Jones said that in order to beat those mental mistakes, she and her coaching staff will have to find a way to make practices tougher and help her team find a way to overcome those mental errors.

“We have to learn that when things go haywire you still have to stay calm and play,” she said. “We just have to see them stay calm and not drop their heads when things go wrong. We’re either really, really high or really, really low. We’ve got to figure out how to get in that middle range and stay there.”

South Laurel will host Rockcastle County on Tuesday.

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